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Uncategorized   |   Aug 16, 2012

Giveaway: 5 copies of The Cornerstone!

By Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Giveaway: 5 copies of The Cornerstone!

By Angela Watson


I’ve got lots of amazing book give-aways scheduled for the coming months, but since everyone’s thinking about classroom management right now, I thought August’s feature should be The Cornerstone: Classroom Management That Makes Teaching More Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable. And since it’s my own book, I can give away multiple copies!

This book was born out of the need for PRACTICAL information for teachers.  So many educators are drowning in paperwork and overwhelmed 
by student behaviors, but don’t have a sufficient support system within their school district. These teachers spend their ‘spare time’ scouring 
for resources on the Internet and in bookstores, hoping for solutions from someone who can relate to their struggles and offer guidance. And 
unfortunately, most of the resources they find focus on WHAT to do and not HOW to do it.

The good news is that these dilemmas are very normal for teachers–every single one of us can relate at one time or another in our careers! And the even better news? There are solutions which get results quickly. You can easily gain, regain, or maintain control of your classroom once you understand the keys to strong classroom management. Once you’ve 
developed the right mindset and created a realistic vision for your classroom, you can teach for it! The Cornerstoneuses actual 
classroom photographs, forms, and dialogue examples to show you how to create procedures and routines that facilitate learning. It will guide 
you through every step of reinforcing your expectations.

The Cornerstone is an expansion of the ideas presented on my website, and provides a more comprehensive resource for teachers to 
keep and reference in the classroom. In The Cornerstone, you’ll learn how a positive teaching philosophy plays out practically in the 
classroom to create a calm, supportive environment that balances predictable routines with unpredictable teaching strategies and lessons. It is 
a comprehensive guide to making this school year the very best possible, whether it’s your first or your thirty-first.

This book will guide you to 
reflect on why you teach, what type of students you want to produce, and ways to run your classroom that fit well with your personal teaching 
style…all within the context of planning for specific procedures and routines. From the first minute you spend with your students in August to 
the final hectic week in June, The Cornerstone will show you how to stay focused on what’s really important, maintain your enthusiasm, and 
utilize all the resources you have available:

* Turn needy, disorganized children into self-reliant, responsible students
* Develop and teach ANY classroom procedure
* Train the class to follow along, stay on-task, and work together
* Use fun teaching techniques that help you assess student learning
* Eliminate homework hassles and parent miscommunications
* Prevent burnout by enjoying and growing with students
* Construct a self-running classroom that frees you to teach

To get this book in the hands of more teachers, I’m giving away eBook copies of The Cornerstone to FIVE readers! The book is available in Kindle, ePUB, and PDF formats (so even if you don’t have an eReader, you can still win a PDF version to read on your computer.)

Just leave a comment on this post telling us one tip you’ve learned that makes your teaching more effective, efficient, and enjoyable. The contest will close on Thursday, August 23, at midnight EST. I’ll choose 5 winners randomly and post their names at the bottom of this blog post.

You can also use the discount code SUMMER2012 to buy The Cornerstone eBook at 20% off–that’s just $11.99! If you order multiple eBooks, the 20% discount applies for your entire purchase. And if you buy the eBook now and then win a copy through this give-away, I’ll refund your money.

I hope that The Cornerstone gives you practical suggestions that leave you feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and full of 
confidence that you can handle every task that’s set before you. And be sure to read through the comments below, because I know the teachers who read this blog, and they have some AMAZING ideas! Enjoy the start to your school year!


Thank you, everyone, for sharing your great suggestions! I’m sorry for the delay in selecting the winners. I subtracted the “reply” comments (when one commenter is replying to another commenter) from the total comment count so there were a total of 134 entries. Here are winners:


#15 Shanna D: “The best advice is to get to know your students. What do they like to do, what music or other media do they enjoy, what sports do they play, etc? Getting to know them on a personal level helps prevent behaviour problems!”

#33 Diane Bode: “I have learned to take it slow the first few weeks. I’m looking forward to having the kiddos visit the classroom (preschool) before the first day. Hopefully, they will feel more better on the first day!”

#41 Tammy Skiles: “Teaching procedures at the beginning of the year…making kids actually do them with you”

#55 Tammi Pittaro: “My best tip, in a nutshell, is say what you mean and mean what you say. Set the bar hhigh and practice, practice, practice!” 

#59 Megan: “Do what is best for your students, which may not always be what is easiest for you, but it will feel good in your heart!!”

Angela Watson

Founder and Writer

Angela created the first version of this site in 2003, when she was a classroom teacher herself. With 11 years of teaching experience and more than a decade of experience as an instructional coach, Angela oversees and contributes regularly to...
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  1. Teachers that find joy in the learning process helps the students find joy in their learning process, as well. Teachers should never stop seeing themselves as learning, because teaching is the highest form of learning. When the teacher can get in front of their class and enjoy what they are doing and enjoy the information they are presenting to the class, the students will be more excited and more willing to participate in learning the material. When the teacher enjoys the experience of being in the classroom, everyone wins.

  2. I create a Parent Contact Folder at the beginning of the year. I send home a basic questionaire to get addresses, health concerns, and contact numbers. I keep them in a paper folder along with a class list, and postcards that I ordered cheaply from VistaPrint. Before school begins I send each student a postcard with a simple message saying that I look forward to meeting them on the first day of school. Then each week I send a postcard to the parents of 3-5 students telling them something positive. I mark by each student’s name until all have been sent a card. Parents appreciate a positive note as much as the kids.

  3. The best tip I learned was not to be “married” to my plans! It took a while, but I learned that if students needed extra practice with a skill, or if we didn’t finish something, it was okay to push aside my next day’s plans and adapt to my students’ needs!

  4. Treat each student as if they are my own kids. This frame of mind helps me when I have a middle school student who may act out or struggle to do any work. I remind myself that I love thses kids and will do anything to help them succeed.

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